Bach cantata (German: Bachkantate) became a term for a cantata of the German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) who was a prolific writer of the genre. Although many of his works are lost, at least 209 cantatas have survived.
Especially during Bach's tenure as a Kantor at the St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, and the St. Nicholas Church it was part of his job to perform a church cantata every Sunday and Holiday, related to the readings prescribed by the Lutheran liturgy for the specific occasion. In his first years in Leipzig, starting after Trinity of 1723, he composed a new work every week and conducted soloists, the Thomanerchor and orchestra as part of the church service. Works from three annual cycles of cantatas have survived.
In addition to the church cantatas he composed sacred cantatas for functions like weddings or Ratswahl (the inauguration of a new town council), music for academic functions of the University of Leipzig at the Paulinerkirche, and secular cantatas for anniversaries and entertainment in nobility and society, some of them Glückwunschkantaten (congratulatory cantatas) and Huldigungskantaten (homage cantatas). He composed church cantatas mainly in Leipzig on a weekly basis, but his earliest date back to 1707 in Mühlhausen, his last was probably written in 1745. His cantatas usually require four soloists and a four-part choir, but he also wrote solo cantatas for typically one soloist and dialogue cantatas for two singers. The words for many cantatas combine Bible quotes, contemporary poetry and chorale, but he also composed a cycle of chorale cantatas based exclusively on one chorale.
Bach's cantatas are regarded as the greatest achievements in the genre.
Read more about Bach Cantata: Name, BWV Number, Structure of A Bach Cantata, Singers and Instrumentation, Words of A Sacred Cantata, Periods of Cantata Composition, Parodies, Oratorios, Performances and Recordings, The Fifth Gospel
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Famous quotes containing the word bach:
“Music is the effort we make to explain to ourselves how our brains work. We listen to Bach transfixed because this is listening to a human mind.”
—Lewis Thomas (b. 1913)